Wednesday, 31 July 2013

PRA: CSG companies $5 million advantage

Five million is the figure that the CSG companies & their industry lobby group APPEA are throwing into a campaign called, ‘Our Natural Advantage’. Apparently gaining that ‘social licence’ for the CSG industry to operate is $5,000,000 important. Perhaps those of us defending landowner’s rights and the future of food production should regard this campaign as a compliment that our many volunteer hours have to be countered by the natural advantage of the multinational companies many millions.
 On reading articles in various urban outlets some are making an attempt to be even-handed about the CSG issue. However last Saturdays  opinion article in the Queensland-based News Limited newspaper, Rivalries set aside as beef, wheat and gas prosper on the Downs, can only be classed as propaganda.
The ‘Our Natural Advantage’ campaign sells the availability of plentiful high paying jobs. It earnestly relates that people living in the gasfields are very happy with the situation and it is only a small vocal minority of outside ideological activists creating misinformation. An imaginative interpretation of the Underground Water Impact report is used to give assurance that science is on the side of the CSG industry.   The appalling and inaccurate old chestnut is used that because in excess of 3,000 contracts have been signed farmers are content with their lot.

These arguments were proclaimed at the May APPEA conference. In the Queensland Country Life article, Landholder response to APPEA conference, David Hamilton of Basin Sustainability Alliance and lawyers Peter Shannon and Tom Marland gave resounding evidence to the contrary.

In another QCL report of the same conference, Coexistence relies on respect, the Gasfield Commissioner, John Cotter said. "Respect, trust and communication are the foundation stones of this industry's social licence to operate and ultimately its future."   The CSG industry’s latest communication and lack of respect in this campaign will hardly engender trust with landowners.

This week it was reported in the farmonline article, Doubling ag output - with CSG's help, John Cotter  telling a recent Brisbane Forum, “some genuine cross sector opportunities between food and energy were yet to be fully realised” and that “those opportunities could only be achieved with community trust allowing for ‘sustainable coexistence’.”   

Such trust can only be achieved with greater honesty and research replacing PR campaigns. Landowners are genuinely worried about future quantity and quality of underground water. Some will be affected. Concerns will be only be put to rest by science and generous compensation of affected businesses. Genuine concern must not be waved aside as alarmism.

The above article was also submitted as a letter to the editor to the Queensland Country Life.

Previous related post
Learn the realities for landowners when a CSG company wishes to establish their business over the top of your farming business in Richard Golden's presentation at the 2013 10th Anniversary Property Rights Australia conference. - Living and Working in a Gasfield


Tuesday, 30 July 2013


I have found a more recent chart since my original post of a few days ago which was updated in April 2013 and is supplied by the Parliamentary Library.

This total of asylum seekers now adds up to 48856. 

It is a little ambiguous (to me at least) because they only mention to end 2012 but say it was updated in April 2013 so I take it that those figures are only up to end of December, 2012.

All those who have arrived since then must be added on as well.

The figures on the right below are the numbers of refugees.  The figure on the left is the number of boats (Number of boats shown after 1989).

The figures: Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976
Updated Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:31pm AEST
Map:  Australia
This table shows boat arrivals figures going back to 1976. Data supplied by the Parliamentary Library.

Boat arrivals since 1976
Number of boats
Number of people (excluding crew)
Number of people

1976    111
1977    868
1978    746
1979    304
1980    0
1981    30
1982-1988    0
1989 1          26 
1990 2       198 
1991 6       214 
1992 6       216 
1993 3         81 
1994 18    953 
1995 7       237 
1996 19     660 
1997 11     339 
1998 17     200 
1999 86  3,721 
2000 51  2,939 
2001 43  5,516 
2002 1          1 
2003 1        53 
2004 1        15 
2005 4        11 
2006 6        60 
2007 5      148 
2008 7      161 
2009 60    141   2,726 
2010 134   345   6,555 
2011 69    168   4,565 
2012 278   392  17,202 

Sources: 1976-1988: K Betts, ‘Boatpeople and public opinion in Australia’, People and place, vol. 9, no. 4, 2001, p. 34. Numbers of boats and crew members not specified. 1989–2008: DIAC advice provided to the Parliamentary Library on 22 June 2009 (excludes crew members). 2009–2012: Customs and Border Protection advice provided to the Parliamentary Library on 7 January 2013.

Saturday, 27 July 2013


There has been a lot of discussion about asylum seekers in recent times, if not for many years actually.

I looked to see if I could find the actual figures recorded anywhere and here is a link that does have the list up to - well I am not sure - but there is a statement at the bottom of the page of figures stating that they were given to the ABC by the Parliamentary Library on 7th January 2013. 

Obviously there have been a lot more arrivals this year, 2013.

The link to the figures:

Here is a chart also that I found although only up to 2010.  It gives a very clear picture of how the Howard government had almost stopped the boats.  It reveals clearly how the numbers skyrocketed after Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister in 2008. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Queensland Hospitals Leading the Way

Queensland is now leading Australian states with its Hospital targets according to National Health Performance Authority data.  (AAP, Sydney).

Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, has had hospitals in his sights for years and understands what needed to be done to bring Queensland into this century.

"Queensland is leading the pack, with three out of 24 hospitals already achieving the 2015 target. These are Gympie, Gladstone and Mt. Isa.

The State also boasts the most improved hospital, the Princess Alexandra in Brisbane which has soared from being the country's worst performer at 33 per cent in 2011 to 62 per cent."

This outcome has come about because an LNP government is now in power in Queensland.  Since they were elected, seventeen local hospital Boards have been established which people have been crying out for over the years. This achievement would not have occurred under the previous dreary government that we had for two decades.

Thank you Campbell Newman and the LNP team

Thursday, 25 July 2013

PRA: July Newsletter

Report of Property Rights Australia Conference 2013

This year was the 10th anniversary of the inception of PRA. Ashley McKay gave us a brief history of the achievements of the organisation over that time. There is little doubt that without PRA many more families would have had their lives and businesses ruined by the Vegetation Management Act and the spiteful and often illegal way in which it was administered.

PRA stalwart Philip Sheridan gave a clear explanation of the amendments to the Vegetation Management Act. He does warn however that it is still not possible to pull your property from fence to fence. There are still laws and regulations for vegetation clearing although some actions have become self-assessable.

At the time of the conference the self-assessable codes under the amendments to the Vegetation Management Act were yet to be released. Subsequently the Queensland Government has released the Mulga Lands Fodder Area Management Plan. Those members in the mulga lands need to read this document closely.

There is no doubt that the Government has appreciated the public support by PRA of the amendments to the Vegetation Management Act in the face of a very vicious and sometimes very personal campaign against the Premier by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) with respect to the amendments.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon. Dr. John McVeigh addressed our Conference as representative for the Premier and told us of the Governments plan for agriculture.

Powerlink was in the spotlight with Gary and Kerry Ladbrook telling us of their experiences.
Richard Golden in his presentation,Living and Working in a Gasfield, gave an account of the extra difficulty of dealing with multiple resource and infrastructure companies. There are many members who are trying to deal with multiple companies and it takes a great deal of time away from their farm businesses.

“Powerlines, Pipelines and Porky Pies” was the title of the presentation by Tom Marland, solicitor. Tom also summarised a case won on behalf of a client.

Anne Bridle of Basin Sustainability Alliance had a stunning visual presentation of the extent of CSG wells in the Surat Basin. One of her tips was to be very vigilant about testing bores before extraction, not only for what is in them but for what is not in them and for both quantity and quality of water. Basin Sustainability Alliance (BSA) has on their web site a tool that allows you to view CSG well maps and information at your fingertips, for more information click here>>
or email BSA for the file -

Trent Hindman spoke to the expert report prepared by DR. Bill Burrows for his appeal. 

The media, including social media, like it or not, is extremely important to the way rural industry gets its message across and it must become even more important or our voices will be lost in an avalanche of contra arguments put by environmental and animal welfare groups.

Queensland Country Life deputy editor Troy Rowling gave us some insights into how the urban media thinks and how we may be able to make an impression on them. Alex Sparkes of, a web site dedicated to rural pursuits, told us of his site and the importance of social media in getting a message across.

Many who attended the Conference expressed appreciation of both the speakers and the opportunity of interaction with others with similar challenges and outlook.

End of report.


Local Government Referendum

Professor Suri Ratnapala has been a critic of the Vegetation Management Act as an example of extremely bad law from its inception. He is a former guest speaker at our Conference. He has now prepared an essay in opposition to the Constitutional Amendment giving formal recognition to local government to be voted on at election time.

Professor Suri Ratnapala goes on to say:

‘The proposed amendment may look innocent but, for the reasons that I have explained, is a calculated assault on the fundamental structure of the Australian Constitution. The Australian federation is a system of vertically divided power in which the Commonwealth and the states have their assured spheres of governance. The federal-state balance that the delegates of the Colonies painstakingly worked out has, since federation, been reweighted in favour of the centre by the High Court’s endorsement of the Commonwealth’s expansive legislative claims. Even so, there remain significant constitutional limits to the Commonwealth’s powers. It may only legislate on specified areas. It can only spend public money for the purposes identified with its legislative sphere. Its so-called nationhood power is limited to situations of national emergency. Importantly, it can make grants of public funds under s 96, as it stands, only to the states and only on conditions that the states are at legal liberty to reject. However, as I have explained, the proposed amendment if enacted will further erode the remaining capacity of the states to manage their own affairs and will further threaten their legal, political and economic existence. If enacted, it will cause irreparable harm to the Australian polity and economy.’

His essay can be found here:


Land Court

A recent decision of the Land Court involved the Keys, Erbacher and Edmonds families. Unfortunately the initial reports of the case had inaccurate and inflated amounts reported as having been awarded. Queensland Country Life has reported on this story in the past and they did report the decision accurately.

The amounts awarded, although fair were not as generous as originally reported by many media outlets and are only activated if and when Xstrata are given a mining lease which could be well into the future.

The link to the decision on the case is here.

Some resources and infrastructure companies are trying to make landowners fearful of going to the Land Court in order to rush them into signing an agreement.
PRA’s observation of the Land Court is that it tries to be fair but it relies on documentation and more documentation. It is essential to keep a diary up to date and a camera handy and record every inconvenience, how long it took to rectify and at what cost. Reasonably incurred costs for solicitors and other professionals are allowed by the legislation. This may require an affidavit from the professional as to why the cost was necessary but the final payout is decided by the Court and not the company.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The BIG LIE: Sceptics Funded by Big Oil -no, the Alarmists are.

Image: Cartoons by Josh
How often do you see articles (eg LINK) saying that “sceptics are funded by BigOil?” 

 OK, please BigOil, we NEED funds, we have not received our share. Where are they?

(see Hey Big Oil! Where's our $$$$s?) 

 “Sceptics are lavishly funded by BigOil.”

Well, no! The Wall Street Journal last year exposed this to be a lie. (link)

When did it become received media wisdom that global warming skepticism was all the work of shadowy right-wing groups lavishly funded by oil companies? As best we can tell, it started with a 1995 Harper's magazine article claiming to expose this "high-powered engine of disinformation." Today anyone who raises a doubt about the causes of global warming is accused of fronting for, say, Exxon, whatever the facts.
We know that BigOil sponsors the influential “progressive” think tank of Pew Charitable Trusts thanks to Joanne Nova (link) and also, from the same link, we know that the Heartland institute does NOT depend on BigOil funding even though that has constantly been an assertion. 
The favorite target of global warming alarmists is the group of big international oil companies. Big Oil is accused of generously funding the global warming skeptics, like The Heartland Institute.  (link)

We also have recently had a paper by Cook et al (2013) claiming a “consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.”

Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. 
This paper has been rebutted everywhere, including by Lord Christopher Monckton


NOT 97.1%

 Also by Anthony Watts: (link)

You’d think such simple elementary errors in data would have been caught in peer review, after all, that is what peer review is for. 

I think that there was a goal by Cook and his crowd, and that goal was to match the 97% number that has become a popular meme in the literature and the media. This intent seems confirmed by a recent statement by one of the co-authors, Dana Nuccitilli in a media argument that 97% global warming consensus meets resistance from scientific denialism
The above-mentioned Dana Nuccitelli describes himself as "a blogger on He is an environmental scientist and risk assessor and also contributes to (UN)" (LINK)  

(UN)SkepticalScience is a blog run by the aforementioned John Cook. Of  Cook’s blog, Realist Scientist  and author John Droz Jr writes: (link)
I started with the assumption that Mr. Cook was a competent and well-intentioned person. After some looking around there, here’s what I found out and concluded.
The first red flag is the fact that Science (by definition) is skeptical, so why the repetition in the name? It’s something like naming a site “The attractive fashion model”.
Of more concern is the fact that (c0ntrary to what one might be led to believe by the title) the site is actually focused against skeptical scientists — specifically those who have the temerity to question anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Hmmm.

Anthony Watts recently put Dana Nuccitelli under the search light and found….uh oh! He is payed by BigOil. That’s right – this alarmist blogger and contributor to (UN)Skeptical Science is in the pay of BigOil.

His Linkedin page (Link) describes him as an Environmental Scientist at Tetra Tech.

Alex Jones reveals more of the Alarmists funded by BigOil: (link)

‘s recent article entitled, The WWF’s Vast Pool of Oil Money chronicles the rise the globalist green charity – seeded with funding from global petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell, who’s former President of 15 years, John Loudon, later served as president of WWF International for four years after that. 
Greenpeace dictate on their own website that the idea of free speech no longer applies when it comes to the climate debate, and will often attack climate skeptics based on their alleged connections to ‘Big Oil’.
Their own militant stance makes it all the more interesting that Greenpeace itself is funded by Standard Oil money, and so is Sierra Club – according to the watchdog website Activist Cash
Rockefeller Brothers Foundation
Greenpeace $1,080,000.00 1997 – 2005
Sierra Club $710,000.00 1995 – 2001
ACORN $10,000.00 2002 – 2002 
Rockefeller Family Fund
Greenpeace $115,000.00 2002 – 2005
Sierra Club $105,000.00 1996 – 2002
ACORN $25,000.00 1998 – 1998 
Rockefeller Foundation
Greenpeace $20,285.00 1996 – 2001
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Sierra Club $38,250.00 1997 – 2000 
Suffice to say that the neither of these champions of climate change and global government – the WWF and Greenpeace, would exist without all that juicy Big Oil Money.
and, lest we forget, Al Gore sold his TV Channel to .....yep....BigOil. (link)
“He’s supposed to be the face of clean energy and just sold [the channel] to very big oil, the emir of Qatar! Current never even took big oil advertising—and Al Gore, that bulls***ter sells to the emir?”
Yet these hypocrites and their supporter still continue their relentless lies.  Carbon Sense Coalition's Viv Forbes was attacked on Menzies House.(Link) e.g.
#8. As Viv Forbes is a coal miner, he will be ripping far more carbon (coal) out of the ground to be burned to form CO2, than Tony Abbott could ever bury to offset an increase in CO2 levels.
To detractors Viv replied: (link)
We have spent our lives in productive tax-paying endeavours, mainly in activities related to farming and mining. We were both reared on farms, me a dairy farm near Warwick, and Judy a cattle grazing property near Mackay. We have overseen the operations of large beef properties, and owned two farms ourselves – one a hobby farm, one a real cattle and sheep operation where we have lived for the last 23 years. 
I have also spent a lot of my life in exploration, financial analysis, consulting and management involving base metals, oil/gas and coal, mainly in northern Australia.
Those who would like to silence me will accuse me of being an apologist for the coal industry. It is true that I am a non-executive director of a small coal exploration company and we hold shares in it. But this company does not produce coal and is largely unaffected by what the politicians are doing now. My experience in the coal business does mean that I understand the science and politics of coal.
Well done, Viv for standing up to the real science and opposing the falsified AGW hypothesis.

Thanks to Dale for the heads-up.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Macabre Beauty of Medical Photographs


Cross post under Terms of Use 
First published at Collage of Arts and Sciences blog site

Meneingioma, brain tumor. Image from Hidden Beauty.

Norman Barker was fresh out of the Maryland Institute College of Art when he got an assignment to photograph a kidney. The human kidney, extracted during an autopsy, was riddled with cysts, a sign of polycystic kidney disease.

“The physician told me to make sure that it’s ‘beautiful’ because it was being used for publication in a prestigious medical journal,” writes Barker in his latest book, Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science. “I can remember thinking to myself; this doctor is crazy, how am I going to make this sickly red specimen look beautiful?”

Thirty years later, the medical photographer and associate professor of pathology and art at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine will tell you that debilitating human diseases can actually be quite photogenic under the microscope, particularly when the professionals studying them use color stains to enhance different shapes and patterns.

“Beauty may be seen as the delicate lacework of cells within the normal human brain, reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock masterpiece, the vibrant colored chromosomes generated by spectral karyotyping that reminded one of our colleagues of the childhood game LITE-BRITE or the multitude of colors and textures formed by fungal organisms in a microbiology lab,” says Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, a pathologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital who diagnoses gastrointestinal diseases.

Barker and Iacobuzio-Donahue share in interest in how medical photography can take diseased tissue and render it otherworldly, abstract, vibrant and thought-provoking. Together, they collected nearly 100 images of human diseases and other ailments from more than 60 medical science professionals for Hidden Beauty, a book and accompanying exhibition. In each image, there is an underlying tension. The jarring moment, of course, is when viewers realize that the subject of the lovely image before them is something that can cause so much pain and distress.

Research shows that close to 50 percent of those over 85 years in age have Alzheimer’s, a degenerative neurological disorder that causes dementia. Diagnosing the disease can be tough—the only true test to confirm that a patient has Alzheimer’s is done post-mortem. A doctor collects a sample of brain tissue, stains it and looks for abnormal clusters of protein called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. In this sample (shown right) of brain tissue, the brown splotches are amyloid plaques.

A person’s stomach produces acids to help digest food, but if those acids enter the esophagus, one can be in for a real treat: raging heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux, in some cases, leads to Barrett’s esophagus, a condition where cells from the small intestine start popping up in the lower esophagus, and Barrett’s esophagus can be a precursor to esophageal cancer. The biopsy (left) of the lining of an esophagus has dark blue cells, signaling that this person has Barrett’s.

The electron micrograph (right) shows what happens in the circulatory system of someone with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The blue in the image is a white blood cell, referred to as a CD4 positive T cell, and the cell is sprouting a new HIV particle, the polyp shown here in red and orange.

This pile (left) of what might look like nuts, fossils or even corals is actually of gallstones. Gallstones can form in a person’s gall bladder, a pear-shaped organ positioned under the liver; they vary in shape and size (from something comparable to a grain of salt to a ping pong ball), depending on the specific compounds from bile that harden to form them.

According to estimates, about 2 billion people in the world have Hepatitis B virus (shown right), or HBV. Those who have contracted the virus, through contact with a carrier’s blood or other bodily fluids, can develop the liver disease, Hepatitis B. When chronic, Hepatitis B is known to cause cirrhosis and liver cancer.

When a person develops cirrhosis, typically from drinking alcohol in excess or a Hepatitis B or C infection, his or her liver tissue (shown left, in pink) is choked by fibrous tissue (in blue). The liver, which has a remarkable ability to regenerate when damaged, tries to produce more cells, but the restricting web of fibrous tissues ultimately causes the organ to shrink.

Emphysema (shown right, in a smoker’s lung) is the unfortunate side effect of another unhealthy
Smoker’s lung. Image from Hidden Beauty.
habit, smoking. With the disease, what happens is that big gaps (seen as white spots in the image) develop in the lung tissue, which disrupt the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide and result in labored breathing. The black coloration on this sample is actual carbon that has built up from this person smoking packs and packs of cigarettes over a stretch of many years.

First Published:

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Tony Abbott's agony

Can fracking cause bigger, more frequent earthquakes?

By Dougal Jerram, Professor II at CEED at University of Oslo
Cross post under The Conversation republishing guidelines            The Conversation

Injecting fluids into the Earth, whether to recover natural gas or to obtain thermal energy from the planet, can cause earthquakes. New reports that look at American fracking, deep waste-water injection and geothermal activities suggest there are big risks and thus a need to develop strong regulatory framework to deal with them.

The most striking indication of human-induced earthquakes is provided by the graph below, which shows the cumulative number of earthquakes in the central and eastern US that were greater than or equal to magnitude 3.0 on Richter scale. The clear increase from 2005 coincides with the rapid increase of shale gas wells and associated increased deep waste-water injection. Between 2005 and 2012, the shale gas industry in the US grew by 45%
William L Ellsworth/Science each year.

Three reports have been published this month in the journal Science that add to our limited but growing data on the causal link between fluid injections and earthquakes.

Pumping of fluids into the ground changes how ground water travels through the porous rock systems. This can affect the rock in two ways. First, these injected fluids can leak directly into faults, which are fractures in rocks, and change pore pressure along the fault, causing failure. Second, they can alter the mass or volume of the rocks that overlie a fault, which changes how much loading the layers underneath have to bear. In this case the fluids do not interact with the fault directly, but cause it to fail by changing its surroundings.
William L Ellsworth/Science

In the first report, a review article, William Ellsworth of the US Geological Survey points out that earthquakes are occurring in unusual locations in North America and Europe. He looks at activities where injecting fluids into the ground may cause earthquakes — such as mining for minerals and coal, oil and gas exploration/production, as well as the building of reservoirs and large waste-water disposal sites. Ellsworth examines three case studies of deep injection, which are particularly convincing

.In 1961, fluid was being injected to a depth of 3.6 km at a Colorado chemical plant for disposing hazardous chemicals. By early 1962, nearby residents started reporting earthquakes. By 1966, 13 such earthquakes had been recorded in that area with magnitude 4.0 or more.

In 1969, the US Geological Survey also started injecting fluids at another site in Colorado. This time, their aim was to understand how fluid pressure could influence earthquakes. They noticed that whenever the fluid pressure went beyond a critical threshold, more earthquakes were observed. This indicated that earthquakes could potentially be controlled if the pressure at which fluids are injected is controlled properly.

The most remarkable example, however, comes from injections in Paradox Valley in Colorado (still on-going). In that area, during the period of 1985 to 1996, only three tectonic earthquakes were recorded within 15km of the site chosen for injection. Between 1991 and 1995, when the injection tests were conducted, hundreds of induced earthquakes were detected within 1km of the site, but few were detected beyond 3km from the site and all were below magnitude 3.0. This situation, however, changed because of continuous injection activities. In 2000, there was an earthquake of the magnitude 4.3 which was recorded 8km from the site and earlier this year there was one of magnitude 3.9 recorded equally far away. This shows that long term injection can lead to expansion of the seismically active area and trigger bigger earthquakes.

In the second report, Emily Brodsky and Lia Lajoie of the University of California at Santa Cruz, look at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field in California. They track the total volume of fluid injected and extracted to extract heat from earth’s core, and find it correlates to the number and magnitude of earthquakes. So it’s not just injection, but also extraction needs to be paid attention to.

The last report is by Nicholas van der Elst of Cornell University and his colleagues. This study tracked induced earthquakes that are triggered by much larger natural earthquakes that occur far away. Injection of water in the deep ground elevates pore pressures and makes the faults and fracture networks in the rocks more vulnerable, so that a distant event can push the system over the edge and to cause earthquakes around the injection sites.

The fact that human activity alters the landscape in a way that can cause earthquakes is not surprising given the scale of activities. The mud volcano “Lusi” (Sidoarjo mud flow) in Indonesia is a striking example of what can potentially happen when drilling interacts with the subsurface with dramatic results, and even there debate lingers as to the “human trigger” for the event. At Lusi, a mud volcano erupted shortly after drilling for gas and as the ongoing disaster developed, it covered the surrounding houses, displacing some 13,000 families and closing 30 factories and hundreds of small businesses.

Humans are aware of the fact that earthquakes can be induced by fluid injection, and we are now increasingly understanding how they cause them. It is perhaps then, as Ellsworth concludes, high time to intervene with a clear regulatory framework to mitigate the risk.

Dougal Jerram does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
The Conversation
          Read the original article [here]

Friday, 19 July 2013

The circus around CO2

Letter to the editor - The circus around CO2

From Leon Ashby - NO CARBON TAX Climate Sceptics

Image: Toonpool
Friday 19th July

Dear Sir / Madam,

It's good to see Tony Abbott has recognised CO2 is an invisible gas. 

The Greens and the ABC display colour manipulated pictures of steam coming out of power stations, trying to make it look like its CO2 . Funnily steam is white not black. Those darkened pictures are to con us and say CO2 is black and evil.

 We cannot see CO2 as its transparent and it's a good guy (being plant food).

The climate deceivers say CO2 will cause droughts, extinctions, malaria everywhere, dams empty, ice sheets totally gone, no more snow, butterflys that won`t be able to find a mate - you name it and they blame it (on CO2)

 But let's give credit where its due - Abbott is correct saying an ETS and a Carbon Tax are bad for the economy and will do nothing for the planet.

Rudd is correct saying Abbott's $85 Billion Direct Action plan is also a dud.

It's a circus with the clowns swapping insults and picking our pockets simultaneously.

Leon Ashby

Senate Candidate for the NO CARBON TAX Climate Sceptics 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

‘Mining captures politics’ – author claims

By John Mikkelsen

GOVERNMENTS change but the politics surrounding mining and resource developments don’t, according to the author of a controversial  new book about to be launched in Gladstone.

‘Road to Exploitation’ subtitled ‘Political Capture by Mining in Queensland’ follows years of pains-taking research and writing by  long-term environmental activist and former Mt Larcom resident, Alec Lucke.

 It will be released at an invitational and public book launch party at the Gladstone Art Gallery, 2 pm  Friday (July 19). Lucke describes his work as partly autobiographical, and human interest. He said yesterday:

“This historical account and social commentary on mining and industrialisation is a once in a lifetime publication.

Author and activist, Alec Lucke.

“The book authenticates not only landholders’ concerns about coal and CSG's unacceptable impacts upon their strategic cropping land and aquifers, but also concerns about damage to Gladstone Harbour's ecology through examples of sweetheart deals entered into by Cabinet that bound the government's regulatory and administrative agencies to policies of minimum compliance, lack of regulatory enforcement, false benchmarking of the science and eventually, abandonment of co-existence with behind the scenes resignation of unavoidable impacts.

“The book's contents and documentation justify the title and demonstrate this principle: Capture executive government in Queensland and the regulatory and administrative processes are captured as well”.

Lucke  says the book serves as both an historical record and  a ‘precautionary manual’. By example, it  authenticates current concerns about the Coal Seam Gas and Gladstone Harbour controversies while delving back to  Mt Larcom district’s pioneering era and the later development of limestone mining  in the 1970’s.

“The Mt Larcom Mining Protest Group opposed the entry of an open cut limestone mine and cement facility into their dairying and farming district.

“With the limestone resource prioritised for cement manufacture and wider industrial applications, mining began in 1979 and the protest group ceased to function in the early 1980s”.

From 1980 to 1995, the book provides social commentary on  industrialisation, local politics, regional organisations and individual public profiles.

“In 1995, the government cancelled Queensland Cement Ltd's coral dredging leases in Moreton Bay and committed to an incentive package for trebling of the East End Mine, a railway line and new cement kiln at Fisherman's landing.
“A fast-tracked  Impact Assessment Study for a  $220m expansion triggered the formation of  the East End Mine Action Group (EEMAG) and coincided with  rookie Independent Member for Gladstone Hon Liz Cunningham’s  balance of power support for the Borbidge coalition government.

 “With the water monitoring data collected but not analysed for 15 years, EEMAG challenged the State's pre-emptive approvals and as controversy raged, local real estate values and saleability collapsed as landholders contested the science and  fought for compensation and replacement water supplies under 'make good' provisions.

“This narrative explores the dynamics of protest groups and reflects upon the dogged persistence and commendable social justice ideals of experts independent of the government or company whose professional opinions were officially disregarded.

“It tells of landholder's conflict with industrial development and their distress as their  precious water was discharged continuously as waste; it outlines the group's philosophical commitments, negotiations and legal and political dilemma as they won replacement water supplies and sought recognition that their small farms, lifestyles and the environment were irreversibly damaged. It chronicles the demise of farming and the ironic circumstances that eventually restored district values… 

“The EEMAG / East End Mine / Regulating Agencies dispute continues with the interests of the Gladstone industrial model and a mine privately owned by the world's largest cement company placed ahead of other stakeholders, the district's progress and the environment,” Lucke claims.

His narrative in print and ebook versions quotes from 170 documents many obtained under FOI, and provides electronic links to 74 otherwise publicly unavailable files.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Where's Wally?

A pictorial follow up to the post, Cockatoos smart enough. This photo of Corellas hanging on the power lines was taken outside the Longreach post office in western Queensland. Spot the single galah
Photo sourced from ABC Western Queensland

Galahs on a communications aerial - Australian birds
Just to prove that galahs do congregate together with their own kind
Photo sourced from Graeme Chapman
Fig. 1. Illustrations of eight adult male cockatoo species showing variation in plumage and morphology; (A) Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus); (B) Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum); (C) Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus); (D) Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita); (E) Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator); (F) Baudin’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii); (G) Glossy Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami); and (H) Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus). Images provided by artist J.N. Davies
Source Science Direct

happily grazing together: 3 species of Cockatoo-Galahs, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos & Little Corellas at Glengarry
Photo sourced from Na nEan's blogspot

Photo sourced from Canberra Times article, Cockies are back, with their mischief